Concordia University Wisconsin is pleased to announce this year’s Faculty Laureate, Christo Et Ecclesiae, Christus in Mundo, and Distinguished Alumna commencement honorees: Ernest Stremski, William Hinz, Allan Buss, and Harriet Pedersen, respectively.

For more details on these awards and their criteria, click HERE.

Ronald L. Berg Faculty Laureate: Dr. Ernest (“Ernie”) Stremski

This award is an honor bestowed by the faculty on one of its own in recognition as the outstanding faculty member of the year.

Dr. Stremski is aptly described as a gifted educator and clinician, with a seemingly inexhaustible skill set that he willingly applies to professional health care education in three different CUW schools (Health Professions, Pharmacy, and Nursing) and both CUWAA campuses. As one of the founding members of the CUW School of Pharmacy, Dr. Stremski has been an outstanding pharmacy professor, regularly awarded the Faculty of the Year award as well as Top Ten Faculty awards. He is also the medical director of the Physician Assistant program (SHP) and regularly teaches in the School of Nursing in their Graduate Nurse Practitioner program.

He maintains a practice component of his work by serving as an attending pediatric physician. He has also been the medical director of the CUW Student Health Services since 2010. In this capacity he was a key member of the Covid response team, incorporating the testing, vaccination, diagnosis and overall university response to the pandemic. His leadership is one of the reasons that the pandemic had a small and manageable presence on campus.

He is also an active member of his church, First Immanuel Lutheran in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, for which he has led numerous medical mission trips to places such as Guatemala and Mexico. He and his wife Karen have been married for 33 years, raising two children, Garrett and Calli.

Christo et Ecclesiae: Dr. William Hinz

Given to an individual(s) who has demonstrated a high and unusual interest in advancing Christian education, by using in a special way the talents with which the Lord has endowed him/her.

Dr. Hinz earned his BA in Secondary and Elementary Education from Concordia University Chicago, a master’s in secondary curriculum from San Francisco State University, and an EdD from Loyola University, Chicago. Dr. Hinz has served Lutheran students and schools in California, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas for nearly 45 years, including the past 25 years as director of school ministry for the Texas District. He is passionate about the mission and spends countless hours traveling, driving and flying, to serve them and their staffs. Colleagues say he embodies the heart and mindset of a servant leader, is tireless in his commitment to sharing the Gospel, and shows genuine care and compassion for all.

Hinz and his wife Carol are long-time members of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. They have three children (Lisa, Julie, and Michael) and six grandchildren.

Christus in Mundo: Dr. Allan Buss

Given to honor individuals for exemplary Christian outreach or service … a respected servant in the Church, embodying the values of truth, goodness, beauty, and unity.

Rev. Dr. Buss, who grew up on a dairy farm in Watertown, Wisconsin, is a proud product of the Lutheran schools and the Concordia University System. He graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in 1986 and from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1990. He did post-graduate studies at Trinity Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from CUWAA in May 2018.

In nearly 30 years of parish ministry, Rev. Dr. Buss faithfully served two congregations: St. Peter Lutheran Church in Gilberts, Illinois, and Immanuel Lutheran Church, Belvidere, Illinois. He has also served The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and the LCMS Northern Illinois District in a variety of leadership positions. He was elected as President of the LCMS Northern Illinois District in 2018 and re-elected for a second term in 2022. He currently serves on the Boards of Regents of Concordia University Wisconsin-Ann Arbor and Concordia University Chicago.

He and his wife Marie reside in Belvidere, Illinois, where he serves as the Fire Department Chaplain for the city. They have four children. All six members of the immediate family have graduated from the Concordia University System, five from CUWAA.

Distinguished Alumna: Harriet Pedersen

Given to recognize an alumnus/alumna who has consistently demonstrated faithful stewardship of his/her talents and has rendered notable service to the church and to the University.

Harriet Pedersen was born in Milwaukee and attended Immanuel Lutheran Grade School and Milwaukee Lutheran High School, later graduating from Concordia University Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She retired from Commerce Industrial Chemicals, Inc. of Milwaukee after 47 years of service—the last seven of which she served as president and CEO of the company.

Pedersen has been a member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church for the last 44 years, serving on several church boards along the way, not to mention singing in the choir and playing handbells. She has served on the LCMS Board of the Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee for six years and is now completing her ninth year on the CUWAA Board of Regents.  She currently serves on the Governing Board of the Lutheran Home and Harwood Place. She currently lives in Grafton, Wisconsin, and enjoys sports, music, boating, and traveling to warmer places.

Want in?

Concordia University Wisconsin is a Lutheran higher education community committed to helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the world. Want to learn more or apply today? Just click the link below!